Philpott Ball & Werner (PB&W) History

Philpott Ball & Werner has a rich history spanning nearly 30 years and remains one of the longest tenured and most experienced boutique investment banks serving the Aerospace, Defense, Intelligence, Industrial Controls and Technology Markets.

Below are the biographies of the two founding partners of PB&W who established the company, which has advised on over 100 M&A transactions with cumulative deal values in the multi-billions of dollars. The firm remains dedicated to the objectives established and fostered by its founding partners, George M. Ball and J. Robert (Bob) Philpott, Jr.

George M. Ball

George co-founded Philpott Ball & Werner in 1991 with J. Robert Philpott, Jr. George was born in Bayside New York and attended Yale College on a Naval ROTC scholarship, graduating in 1956. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Administration from the Sheffield School at Yale College and was commissioned as an officer in the Marines Corps upon graduation.

Following his commission, George attended Basic Training in Quantico, Virginia and proceeded to the U.S. Navy’s flight school at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. George was a Marine Aviator for four years, during which time he flew various aircraft (both single- and multi-engine- aircraft), including the Fairchild R4Q Flying Boxcar. Before leaving the Marines, George achieved the rank of Captain.

George was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1960 after which he joined Shell Oil Company. From there, George moved into investment banking, embarking on a career that spanned over half a century. Between 1961 and 1969, George worked for Reynolds and Company and Kidder Peabody in Boston. After Kidder, George joined the investment banking firm of Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette in New York as one of its earliest members. He remained with DLJ through 1983, rising to the position of Managing Director. DLJ was the first Wall Street firm to become publicly traded and grew to over 11,000 employees before being acquired by Credit Suisse in 2000 for $11.5 billion.

George relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina to serve as CEO of a management buyout he led while at DLJ. He ultimately decided to return to investment banking and started his own merger and acquisition advisory firm in 1988, George Ball & Company. After meeting Bob, the two founders decided to combine their expertise and started Philpott Ball & Company in early 1991. In 2000, the firm changed its name to Philpott Ball & Werner, shortly after Ted Werner established the firm’s Boston office.

Throughout his career, George focused on advising Aerospace, Defense and Industrial companies throughout North America. George served on numerous Boards of Directors throughout his career including EDO Corporation, B.B. Walker, Juno Lighting and Sterner Lighting while building a leading boutique investment bank. Since its founding, Philpott Ball and Werner has focused on providing superior customer advice, based on sound research and a culture of integrity. George was Chairman and Managing Director until his retirement in 2012, and remains on the executive advisory board of Philpott Ball and Werner, Inc. He now lives in the mountains of North Carolina.

J. Robert Philpott, Jr.

J. Robert Philpott was a founding partner of Philpott Ball & Werner in early 1991 with George M. Ball. Bob was born in Winston-Salem. He graduated from Lexington Senior High School in 1964 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the Virginia Military Institute in 1968, where he stood first in his class among economics majors. Bob was named a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the national honor society in economics.

After graduating from VMI, Bob served as a Minuteman II missile launch officer in the United States Air Force’s Strategic Air Command. While in the Air Force, he received a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Missouri and was awarded a Distinguished Academic Achievement Award from the U.S. Air Force in 1971.

From 1972 through 1981, Bob served as a regional corporate lending officer for the Wachovia Bank and Trust Co., N.A. From 1981 to 1985, Bob was a vice president in the corporate finance department of J.C. Bradford and Co. In this capacity, he served as an investment banker and financial adviser to a number of corporations in both the Southeast and other areas of the United States.

In 1985, Bob joined Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp. (I/JL) as senior vice president and manager of I/JL’s corporate finance department, managing investment banking professionals and actively advising a number of corporations on matters pertaining to valuation and capital structure. Personnel reporting to Bob managed more than 50 public offerings of corporate securities and advised numerous companies on mergers and acquisitions. In 1989, Bob became managing director of I/JL’s capital markets group, which included I/JL’s corporate finance, syndicate, institutional equity sales and trading, and merger and acquisition departments.

In January 1991, Bob founded Philpott Ball & Werner with George Ball and was President and Managing Director until his death in 2007.